Monday, June 15, 2015

My PC flew the coop....

It happened all of a sudden....C R A S H.....

Nope.  Not a car.  Not a biking accident. Didn't fall over the balcony or out of bed!

My computer decided that this was the day to end it's life.  It had been a good PC.  Personally fashioned by the hands of a friend. Mr. PC simply said that it had had enough of trying and struggling to compute and headed for computer heaven...without me, thank heaven!

It was a fairly silent farewell.  Actually, it didn't even whimper. It just decided to not start up....ever again. I attempted to press that "on" switch many times....for many days...thinking it may be just a bit temperamental and all that...somewhat like me!  It was not to be.  I heard not another purr, click or wheeze...and I suspect ever will again.

Now I'm one who believes that things get second chances....even computers!  So perhaps we will send this beast back to it's creator to see if he can revive the dead...or at least retrieve my pictures. printer....just this handy-dandy laptop.

I love the world of electronics...when they work and live to await your every command.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On being Fleeced.....

It was a good day.  It started with a lovely A&W coffee time with my man.  As it was Thursday, we followed up the coffee time with, what I call the weekly "Seek and Find Adventure". I figured that I'd call it something other than what it actually was in order to fully get into the event and enjoy the day. it was grocery shopping....there...I said it.  Yes, we went GROCERY SHOPPING! (using the upper case makes it sound like I'm yelling, right?...right!) So grocery shopping with husband can sometimes be an actual fun and adventurous time and we have, some weeks at least, come away from our adventure unscathed.

This week was no different...well, other than a few direct harsh words expressed to my man when he wouldn't listen to my point of view on a very important many bagels were left in the freezer and should we buy another package this week or leave it until next week. It was important to me, at least.  So I huffed and puffed and spitted out the words "I shall buy them TODAY!!" (you really had to be there to appreciate the full effect of my childishness and pompousness, not to mention his self-righteousness and anoying snicker..heeheehee). The bagels were stuffed into the cart.

Our crazy attitudes diminished together as our cart pushed past the meat section. Steak used to be a favorite of ours.  But looking at the prices, we realized what we had been hearing about seniors not being able to afford to eat was seemingly true!   Well, eating steak, at least.  Two nice little steaks.....$30.  One can buy a lot of bagels for thirty bucks!  We looked longingly at those morsels...then at each other....and walked on by....just like the song. That was one store.

On to the next store.  Checking out the flyers. Comparing prices.  I totally think it's a waste of time.  Let's take into account the gas we use from our honkin' big truck, tootling about from one place to the next...then wear and tear on said truck, not to mention our precious time!  Well, perhaps not the time, as retired folks' time doesn't really appear to matter too much.  You's all we have, right?  Anyway, take the time away and it boils down to a waste of gas...and pollution of the air from said gas. Right??!!.  That was my defense.

On to the next store.  We won't mention this one.  All we did was buy water.

Home!  Sweet home!  Carry those bags.  One flight of stairs. Into the apartment and plop those bags on the floor..ready to put away.  Did I mention I also hate putting groceries away?  Ya...I hate putting groceries away...but I get right to it anyway.  Husband seems to have some really important phone calls to make at that particular time...but I shall put the %&)(^)(*&_)(#*%^)#%^%*groceries away. (I love making all those one can actually see my meaning...they could be curse words but I won't say!)

I'm getting right into it. Throwing the food into the fridge...slam. Dropping cans into cupboard...bang. Husband doesn't even seem to notice anything unusual....until he heard the words..."Oh sh**!!!!" See, I can't even type the word....but it squeeked out of my mouth at any rate.  Not sure if I felt worse for saying it, or the fact that while holding paper towels under my right arm plus a recycling paper bin and the very large, heavy bottle of Fleecy in my left hand by the top...not the handle....I felt the Fleecy bang on the floor and I was left holding it's top.  Looking down I was staring at the Fleecy bottle glug...glug...glugging it's softening scent in ripples over the storage room floor....all blue and thick and heading under the freezer and the floor boards.  I scooped up the bottle, handing it to husband, who, upon hearing the agonozing shouts from his usually tranquil wife, had appeared out of nowhere.  He grabbed a very thin spatula and a bowl...handing it to me....and I began the ordeal of keeping this putrid mass of blue goo contained into one single pond.  Have YOU ever tried scooping Fleecy with a spatula into a bowl?  NO???  Probably not.  I kept scooping and plopping, scooping and plopping until the sea of blue was mostly off the floor and into the plastic bowl.  Husband got the seive and poured it back into Mr. Fleecy's big blue bottle.  So my slippers were consumed with the stuff, it had splashed all over the bottom half of the freezer, over the two water jugs, several plastic containers, assorted bags, the door, the wall and I suppose I will continue to find splotches and drips of this goop from now until....well, until we get Fleeced again.

The house was instantly refreshed and my hands, especially.  Ever tried to get that smell OFF your hands and clothes?  Me neither...until today.  I felt like I needed to be thrown into the washer and put on the spin cycle without Fleecy for an hour or so.  Anyway, I suppose the grocery buying wasn't so bad after all...and hey, even though we were Fleeced, husband and I did a pretty fine job of bonding through the ordeal. We're still speaking!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thinking....of freedom.....

There are circumstances in life that gets one thinking of the many freedoms I take for granted. I can go about doing them whenever I choose. Here is a list of a few...
walking safely from one room to another
having what I want to eat
listening to whatever type of music I want, when I want
heading off to church in my vehicle
having a shower
touching the one I love
hugging a friend
phoning or texting anyone I wish
giving and receiving of gifts
walking in the forest
biking down a trail
watching the sun rise and set
hearing happy news
expressing my opinion without fear
holding hands
laughing with people I love and care about
looking my family in the eye
touching a cheek
hearing robins and crows
wrapping Christmas gifts
decorating a tree and topping it with the angel
putting up lights everywhere
going out to a movie
having peace of mind
planning a trip
wearing new clothes
fellowship with friends over coffee
sipping a glass of good wine
writing a letter without it being inspected
to look to my left and my right...without fear
sleeping in a tent
engaging in good conversation
cooking a hot dog over an open fire
walking by the river
being with a dying loved one
flying to another country
buying a couch
having a passport
fishing in a beautiful lake
using my gifts of creativity...such as they are
walking out the front door
using a key
dressing up and going to a party
visiting someone in hospital

Next time I do any one of the above, I will thank God for my freedom to engage these gifts and pray for the Spirit to comfort those who cannot have any of them.

My heart and the heart of my family is broken....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Here....or there....

We were close, my older brother, Garry, and I.  Not so much in proximity, (although an hour and a half away is really quite close) but close in heart.  Does that make sense?  Close in our 'heart ways'.  Close in our senses of humour. Close in our 'people ways'.

But....I was here...and he was there....

Does it really make that much difference when siblings live a ways away from one another?  It doesn't seem to make any difference at all when it comes to how we feel about each other...even if I am here....and he is there....

We grew up together.  Ate together.  Played together.  Laughed together. Cried together (when mother settled disputes!!!). Went to church together. He went his way and I went mine after eighteen years of being in the same house.  But love doesn't leave or separate. Still, I was here...and he moved there.....

Years came and went. We'd phone though at Christmas or special days like birthdays and St. Patrick's Day and days to tell one another that this one or that one had passed away....or election days!  But with a family in tow, it wasn't easy to jump into the car and go for a visit...for either of us.  Especially when I was here...and he was there....

Our family by one....died.  We comforted each other as best we could with tears and words and hugs.  Even when he had been very ill, he managed to come and be with me as we grieved together the loss of a younger brother, a father, a mother...we were family...and he and I were what was left. I was here....and although he was there....he selflessly came here.....

And so, as I grieve with tears at his memory and my loss, I look back on our lives together...yet apart.  The way it is supposed to be.

Still, even though he was in the hospital in his last days, saying he didn't want visitors, I am needing to come to terms with not going to see him. I knew him well enough to say he had a subborn streak a mile long, not unlike my own:)  so I was appreciating his wishes...and not going to him.  He would be out in a few short days, I was told.  It made me anxious with his blood pressure so low...that I was here.....and he was there.....

Now, the end of his life has come.  New life is happening in that sacred place for him...a place where I cannot yet be....yet, for now....I am here....and he is there....rejoicing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It has found me....

Yes, as hard as I try, I just cannot avoid it.

I've attempted to hide.  It found me.

I ignored it. It grabbed me.

It hit me over the head...and crushed me! It seared my soul to it's depths.

And yet, here I am....still.

The sting of death has not overtaken me and I live on.

My older brother, Garry, died last night. The sting of that hit me hard and fast like a lightening bolt. He wasn't content with how his body had been treating him for the past 29 years.  There were things he overcame...major physical barriers...but he kept on...fighting like the fiesty Irishman he was until there was no more left in him to fight with.  He finally let go....

He was a fellow who spoke his mind...always...except if he thought it may hurt you too badly.

He laughed a lot and enjoyed the humour in everything.

He well I remember as a young girl being teased by him...and NOT liking it!

He was a heart every way! He cared deeply for his family and loved them all unconditionally.

He was a sportsman.  From golf to goose hunting....and everything in between.

I liked him as a person and admired him for his ability to get things done.

He worked hard and was a store manager who not only managed...he worked WITH his staff...rolling up his sleeves and digging in. I admired that about him, too.

He was a wild and crazy kid as he grew up.  Flying around on his bike...then racing around in his car. He loved life and living it.

So, in speaking of living ones life, his was a great example of living ones life well.  Through much adversity, he lived life fully and with a great amount of joy.

The sting of death has crept into our lives for a time.  I know it will leave...eventually. In the meantime, I shall endure it's pain because when you love, you are called to endure as well. Love is like that...offering up it's sweetness and goodness in another...and then it is gone.  But not without leaving a part of it us.

I said to Ken tonight as we sat and chatted about Garry at the supper table, that I have no fear in death...I do, however, have a certain fear of dying.  The passive and the active.  Death will be freeing. Death will usher me into a new place, a good place where I have never been before.  But the dying is the active part...where the suffering, the sickness, the fear comes in. It would be great to skip that part!  But that isn't what life offers.

When we have a belief in something beyond life, it gives us a great deal of hope...hope of something better, a place where love is, a place to be away from suffering and the sting that being left behind brings. A place where God is present.  I don't really know what that will look like but I like to think it will be grand...just grand.

So, here's to you, dear brother Garry, and a life well lived. Thanks for being a part of it with me. you were loved...deeply...and sincerely....

We all were a part of his life....and always will be.  Love to you, dear brother....

Friday, January 2, 2015

Life changes...and challenges....

Well, that was a long dry spell! Nine months to be exact.

Life can do some pretty crazy things in that period of time and my life is no different.

There have been major moves.  You know, Elvis type moves...hip wrenching, foot twisting, back breaking kinds of moves that made life quite different for Ken and I.

I had gotten pretty used to having Matt live away from home and to have him come home a couple of times a year to say hi, and get caught up a bit on his life. Although, having him at home for several months last year was a time that will not soon be forgotten. It was good to simply have his presence here even if it meant he was gone a good part of the time visiting, helping, volunteerng and the like. So now that he is once again back in Winnipeg going to university, my mind is readily prepared to not have him close by any more. But in my heart, I miss him terribly.

And this year when Shannon moved to Saskatoon, that hit me pretty hard.  I had been used to having her around...not literally in our house, but close by.  And she's a communicator! I appreciate that about her so much probably because I'm not much of a talker.  I enjoy hearing about her life and the expressions on her face as she speaks of it.  I always know where she stands, pretty much. It's always been that way.  She has always been a strong, selfl-sufficient person, too.  I am not so strong. She's a talker.  I'm a listener. She enjoys being outdoors. I'd rather sit in a blanket on the couch.  We're pretty much opposites. And yet, I miss her presence, even though she is close enough to go and visit now and then...I miss all those things about her.

Then there's Brittney.  Our one and only grandchild. The young woman that comes into our home like a strong, warm breeze and fills us up with herself. Her laughter. Her gentleness. Her grace. Her sweetness and liveliness!  Her open and heartfelt love for her Grammy and Grampy. And having her live in Saskatoon too, has left us with an open spot, an unfilled spot which no one can fill but her.

Yes, it's the realization that a human being can make another human being's life and existance feel worthwhile. That children and grandchildren are a true blessing from God. That life takes on various looks and feelings because of various person's presence or lack of presence in our lives.  It is good that we get to choose how we will react to these changes. Some people live miserably lonely lives without their loved ones. Others do quite fine.

I think Ken and I are in the "quite fine" category. We find ourselves feeling lonely at first when these loved ones aren't in our presence but by the grace of God, we get our bearings for life again and carry on with living. We appreciate being with our children but we also appreciate being with just each another.  We're finding there are still things to learn about the other, or perhaps it's the fact that we, like our children, are changing into different people than we were 10, 20 or 40 years ago and there are things yet to figure out.

I guess all of this was spawned from our friend losing his wife.  He speaks of appreciating one another while people are here to appreciate, for life can end all too quickly. It's a truth. Yes, we find that we can live without a person we love, but it takes time, time to heal the lonliness, time of adjust without that person, time to learn to live alone once again.

The journey of life simply continues on it's way, with us or without us; with our loved ones or without them and THAT is another truth of life. It's how we eventually face that truth that can make life worth living again....or not.....

So, here's to a New Year.  May it show us new things about ourselves and give us a great deal of hope to live a worthwhile and productive life, while we are still able to do so! And for those who live with the sting of death haunting them each day, may that sense of hope gradually, slowly overtake you and give you peace...

Happy New Year!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Random thoughts on hypocrisy.....

Here's the thing.  I have long preached (and I'm sure in previous blog posts!!) that change is inevitable...good, even! I shout it from the rooftops to anyone who will listen...CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE.  It's what life is all about.  It's invigorating.  It brings us to new heights in our human experience.  It allows us to see things in a new light and for us to become better people.

In other words, it's good for us. Difficult, but good.

I still believe it is...deep down in my inner self.

And as much as I believe it to be so, I fail at change when it involves me having to let go of things...well, family, to be more exact. I fear it. It is my form of hypocrisy.

I can say it all in my head and know it to be true that letting go of children is how life is supposed to be...until I have to do the actual severing.

Is it just moms who find this difficult?  I don't know.  Perhaps our nurturing side gets in the way of allowing things to become what they were meant to be.

In my life, I have lost people very dear to me...parents, grandparents, a sibling, close friends, in-laws and death.

But the letting go of our children, even thought they're all grown up, has been a more difficult thing for me, for various and probably unwarranted reasons.

Having said all of this, however, I'm beginning to realize, finally, the importance of contemplative prayer in my life.  I'm realizing that letting go of everything...thoughts, ideas, notions, experiences (past and present), children...everything...and letting God have that space within, is what is needed for me to be truly free and to embrace change without fear. It will also allow ME to become who God desires me to be.

Letting go....

Free falling.....

As frightening as it is, I know it's my next step in life.